The plan was to go to take Tea to the dentist and then reward us him by going to the County Fair.
The dentist’s office fell through. The wait was getting long (with no end – or apology – in sight) for a pediatric dentist office and I was getting creeped-out that every single kid, regardless of age (and some were very young), went in for their appointment alone. Kyle and I were getting frustrated (at the wait) and uncomfortable (at the practice). We left.
I thought Tea would be thrilled to leave without seeing the dentist, but of course we’d done too good a job selling the visit, so he was unhappy as we strapped him back into the car.
“But I want to see the dentist!”
“I know, Tea, but we’ll see a dentist another day. Let’s go to the FAIR!”
“But the DENTIST!”
“The fair is FUN! We can see ANIMALS and eat delicious FOOD like ICE CREAM and FRIED CHEESE CURDS!”
“But you said we’d go to the DENTIST!”
“OK, Tea, your dad and I will give you an Extra Special tooth cleaning tonight at bed time, OK? We’ll pretend we’re at the dentist!”
The fair was a hit once we got him there. His favorite thing was playing in a pit of corn, where he got so dusty he turned white. My favorite thing was watching him milk a goat.
Once back home we had to deliver on the Extra Special tooth cleaning – he spoke of nothing else for the half hour before bed. Kyle and I flipped a coin to see who would make the big bucks (dentist) and who would do the work (hygienist). I lost. I asked Tea to lie on the pillow dentist chair and donned an eye-mask pulled over my mouth and nose my dental hygienist uniform. I first counted all his teeth – 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom. Huh. I never thought to do that before, but now I know. Then I brushed as thoroughly as I could and flossed. I stuck imaginary film in his mouth and put a shirt radiation shield over his body before buzzing an electric razor one foot from his head taking an x-ray.
I called in Kyle the dentist to check his bite and read the x-ray films. He was given a lecture about brushing his teeth carefully and then given an imaginary toothbrush. We addressed him as Mr. Tea (ha! obviously we used his actual name) the whole time and explained in great detail what we were doing. He ate it up. I think he had more fun than he did at the fair. Let that be a lesson to us. Except I’ll be honest – the fair was for me to eat the terrible foods I eat once a year. Mmmmm. After all those sweets I should make a dental appointment.